2023 - 2024 Handbook
Cindy M. McDowell - Director

Ages 3 - 5 years
7:30am - 5:30pm
Monday - Friday

Where Learning is fun!
Helping children learn and grow since 1988
Ours is a learning, laughing ad loving approach to preparing your child for life.

Healthy Sarasota County - Child Care Sites
In May 2012, more than 20 Sarasota County child care centers participated in the Healthy Sarasota County Child Care Training.  These centers took the necessary steps to become recognized as Healthy Sarasota County Child Care sites.  Little Disciples Preschool received certification at that time and we continue achieving re-certification every three years.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to Little Disciples Preschool.  We are proud of our ministry here at Beneva Christian Church to the children and parents of this community.  As a church, we offer a loving and nurturing atmosphere and our Preschool education is an important part of our ministry.  Our program includes a Preschool Committee which is made up of members of our church and preschool and is here to serve you.  If you do not have a church home, we invite you to be a part of our Beneva family. 
We sincerely wish you and your child a wonderful experience at Little Disciples Preschool.  We hope your year will be filled with many positive memories.  Thank you for the opportunity and the privilege to nurture your very special little one.  Enjoy and value these years...for they are gone all too soon.


Weekly Hours of Operation
In 2014 we increased our hours of service to 7:30am - 5:30pm, Monday -Friday.  We continue to provide a morning class atmosphere, with your child in their classroom from 9am - Noon (8:30 - 12:30 VPK) daily.  Early care allows for an early start to your day and when the morning classes end your child may continue their day in Extended Care which is open until 5:30pm.
Our Philosophy
The word "Disciple" is used frequently in the New Testament.  It means learner or follower, one who is accompanied by a teacher.  We believe that all children are unique little people, Little Disciples, who should be allowed to develop at their own rate morally, physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually.  With these goals in mind, we strive to develop healthy, happy children who will contribute to society as they grow.  
It is the goal of our staff to provide your child with a positive learning experience.  Designed to make their first adventures in a school setting memorable and enjoyable ones.  To achieve this end, we will challenge your child's natural creativity and intellect.  With this in mind, we will love and help your child to develop to their fullest potential.
Our curriculum is based on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire System (ASQ), the Florida School Readiness Standards as well as the High Scope, Kindness and Creative curriculum.  This compilation of curriculums means our focus is the total child.  The environment provides a place for learning through interesting, stimulating and challenging materials and activities.  We will introduce each child to the joys of learning by helping them develop their self-esteem, through a variety of positive daily experiences.  Children will be exposed to phonetics, numbers and their concepts, colors geometric shapes and exercises in social skills.  We will also offer special units on the topics in which the the children express interest.  We strive to balance the formal learning experiences with outdoor play and free time to enable the child to develop their motor and social skills in an informal setting.  Our ultimate goal is that each child feel happy, confident and proud of all they achieve.
Registration Fee
A non-refundable Registration Fee is due annually upon enrollment:
2 days per week (T/R) - $250.00 a year
3 days per week (MWF) - $275.00/year
5 days  per week (M-F) $300.00/year

Supply Fee
A non-refundable Supply Fee is due annually upon enrollment:

Morning Classes Tuition
Tuition is due on the first school day of each month.  No exceptions or credit will be given for days missed due to illness, vacation, school holidays, etc.  Your first tuition payment will be due no later than "Open House" for August and September tuition.  All other months are due payable on the 1st of each month.  
Morning Class 8:30 - Noon - 2 days per week (T/R) - August $172.50 - September - May  $345.00         
Morning Class 8:30 - Noon - 3 days per week (MWF) - August $227.50 - September - May $455.00
Morning Class 8:30 - Noon - 5 days per week (M-F) - August $282.50 - September - May $565.00
A fee of $10.00 per day will be charged for any payments received after the fifth day of the month.  A $30.00 charge will be applied to all returned checks.  A 3% tuition discount will be applied towards the total school term if received in one payment at Open House.  Second sibling discounts available.

Full-Time Care Fees (7:30am - 5:30pm)
2 days per week: $545 monthly ($6.82 per hour)
3 days per week: $725 monthly ($6.05 per hour)
5 days per week: $925 monthly ($4.63 per hour)

Late Fees
Tuition = $10 each day/max 5 days
Extended Care Late Pickup Fee = $25 per five minutes
Due upon arrival.  Continued abuse of this policy may result in the loss of Extended Care privileges

Early Care
Doors open @ 7:30am with entry available through 8:15am - $5.00 per day

Extended Care
Extended Care is offered daily from Noon until 5:30pm.  Children may be picked up anytime during these hours.  Children bring their own meal in a labeled lunchbox.  Lunchtime is held in the Lunch Room; after which the children may enjoy their time in The Learning Center, on the Outdoor Classroom or Playground.  The children are to be picked up no later than 5:30pm.  A billing statement will be sent home at the end of each month.  $7.00 per hour.

We began accepting VPK vouchers in 2012.  We meet the 540 hours of instruction by schooling 5 days per week from 8:45am to 12:30pm for 144 school days.  No fees are required for VPK instruction.
Our PreK/VPK students are welcome to use our early and Extended Care programs.  Additionally, our school year includes Non-VPK funded event days that are thematic and fun.  Fees are found below for any programs held around or outside the VPK morning.

Outside the VPK Program Fees
Registration Fee for use of Early Care & Extended Care & Non-VPK days = $125.00
Fulltime Wrap-Around Care = $135.00 per week
Non VPK days (average of 22 during the school year) = $35 per 8:45am - 1:00pm day.  Non VPK days have ab extra half-hour of care which allows the children to pack a lunch and enjoy a mini-cafeteria experience with classmates.  These days are full of activities and are thematic in nature.  We are able to embrace holiday fun and often go off the grid (the evaluation grid) into days that are: Super-Sized, turn us into Mad Scientists, teach us about Careers, help us learn about Bicycle Safety and so much more.  These days may also be used as personal days out for appointments as needed without affecting VPK required attendance.  We hope everyone will come and explore these monthly adventures!
Arrival Times
(Early Care doors open at 7:30am with entry available through 8:15am)  
Doors open for morning classes and families are greeted each day beginning at 8:30am.  Student entry has a sign-in required daily.  We close our doors at 9:05am so the first activities of the day are not interrupted.  The doors remained locked throughout the school day to ensure your child's safety.  To gain entrance throughout the school day, please ring the doorbell.

Departure Times
Dismissal for the morning session is Noon with VPK dismissal at 12:30pm.  All children need to be picked up promptly.  Extended Care children may be picked up anytime before 5:30pm.  Written permission is required for all children picked up by anyone other than their parents.  

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
This is a school zone, please observe a 10 mph limit
Park in the Parking Lot, turn pff your vehicle and lock it.  Do not leave unattended children in vehicles.  Walk your child/children into the outdoor alcove of the education building.  Do not park in the circular driveway or in the handicapped spaces.  Please contact the office if you need assistance at any time.  Pick-up time is Noon - 12:30 for VPK.  Parents are to remain outside in the courtyard.  The teachers will bring the students outside to their designated pick-up site.  After 12:10pm, any remaining students will be placed in our Extended Care program.  

School Schedule (Holidays & Closings)
Little Disciples Preschool will closely operate on the same schedule as Sarasota County Public School system.  (Note: Our Preschool year begins two weeks after the opening of the public school year.)  Little Disciples Preschool will be closed when the Sarasota County Public Schools are closed for teacher work days.  We will be closed for all major holidays, including Christmas recess and Spring Break.  When the public schools are closed due to severe weather, Little Disciples Preschool will be closed.  Tune to SNN Channel 6 for all area school closings.  Changes/revisions of the Sarasota County School Year Calendar may effect our calendar year.  A calendar of the school year will be provided in your student folder and in our school directory, printed in early October.  

All our staff members are fingerprinted and thoroughly screened through Florida Department of Children & Families.  All Lead Teachers are required to hold a degree in the field of Education.  All staff members must take a minimum of twelve credit hours annually in courses relating to early childhood development.  Our staff are members of the Sarasota Chapter FLAEYC and the National Association for Education of Young Children.  Staff members are also certified in Pediatric CPR, Heartsaver CPR and First Aid.

Discipline Policy
The ultimate goal is for each child to achieve self-discipline.  Ideally, the child who is involved in meaningful work will no show any behavioral problems.  The words "discipline" and "teach" are related.  Teaching children what they are ready to learn at each stage of development will result in self-disciplined individuals.    
We first talk t the child about the behavior and explain how they are disturbing the rest of the class.  We point out that they are not being helpful to themselves or others.  Next, we will meet with the parents to establish methods of positive reinforcement.  Persistent behavioral concerns will result in parent conference with the Preschool Director.  In the event of continued adverse behavior, Little Disciples Preschool reserves the right to deny further enrollment.

Requirements For Admittance
Our school is available to children ages two to five years of age.  While we are hopeful that children have completed potty-training and are able to take care of their own bathroom needs, it is not a requirement for entrance below the age of three.  We will work together to achieve potty-trained status.  Each child must have an enrollment form with emergency information on file.  A copy of your child's birth certificate must also be submitted upon registration.  Please be sure to advise the school regarding any and all allergies, as well as address, phone, pick-up people, doctor changes...throughout the year.  

Forms Required By Florida Department of Health
Two Florida Department of Health forms will be required upon enrollment: A health report and an immunization form showing current and up-to-date immunizations.  It is especially important to note any known allergies.  Little Disciples Preschool requires that all students enrolled be immunized.  Absolutely no exceptions or exemptions allowed.
If your child is ill and/or will not be in school, please call the office.  In order for your child to return to the classroom, they must be free of fever for 24 hours.  Notice will be given to all parents concerning any outbreak of childhood or communicable diseases here at the school.  In the event of COVID contact or diagnosis, we will work closely with you to help you understand the CDC guidelines and DCF requirements as they pertain to those of us in the Early Childhood field.  

Done on a rotating basis, when it is your child's turn to bring in snack, please provide a healthy snack for the number of children in your child's class.  For health and safety reason, we must insist that snack foods arrive in original and unopened packages.  Water will be provided as our snack-time  refreshment.  A snack calendar will be sent home as a reminder of the day(s) your child will be responsible for snack throughout the month.  Food allergies (when applicable) are posted and will never prevent a child from participating in our program.  

Written Permission
A permission slip is required for the following:
1. For a child to leave school with someone other than their parent.
2. Dispensing of any medication to a child by a staff member.
3. Evaluative screenings by outside sources.
4. Participating in special meal days in our Extended Care Program.

Field Trips
At this time, Little Disciples Preschool does not participate in off-campus field trips.  Instead, we bring the field trip to the children through various speakers and presenters and activities each year.

Dress Code
Children should wear play clothes that are comfortable and will not restrict them from participation in any activities.  We require all children to wear socks in sneakers/tennis shoes daily.  One-piece outfits should not be worn.  Flip-flops, sandals, and cowboy boots are not allowed. 
Please dress children for actual weather conditions.  We will go outside everyday (weather permitting) and are required to have children wear jackets in cooler temperatures.  Dress your child appropriately.  Please label all jackets/sweaters so that when the end of the day temperature no longer requires it, we are still able to find your child's jacket.       
Emergency medical treatment will be administered by our staff or by a paramedic.  You will be contacted if your child has a serious accident while in school.  If we cannot reach you, we will call the person listed on the enrollment form.  A written signed report will be n file in the office for minor accidents and a copy will be sent home to the parents.  

Our main line of communication with parents is through daily interaction at drop-off and again at pick-up, as well as through the use of notes and newsletters, office letters and teacher letters.  All messages will be sent home with your child.  The Preschool office sends home letters monthly to keep you informed of all preschool and Beneva Christian Church activities.  A copy of our Grievance Procedures is included in the Student Folder provided at Open House (upon enrollment).  It is our hope that the lines of communication remain open, positive and meaningful for all parties concerned. 

Screenings and Evaluations
Vision and hearing are major factors in a child's development.  They can affect school achievement, personality, and adjustments to life.  Vision and hearing screening tests are given to all children ages 3.5 and older and you will receive the results of these tests.  We also participate in the ASQ assessment program and you and your child will have the opportunity to conduct your own assessment at home.  We hope everyone will choose to participate.  During the year, your child's teacher will formally assess each student's progress.  You will receive copies of these evaluations mid-year during Parent/Teacher conferences and again at the end of the school year.  Parents are always welcome to call the preschool to schedule a conference with a staff member anytime there are concerns or questions.

Chapel & Musical Moments
Chapel & Music are held each week with Pastor David in The Sanctuary.  The children love to hear stories of the Bible come alive through music and song.  Beneva Christian Church members volunteer o read a story to the children w=each week.  The doors open at 10am each Thursday and everyone is welcome to join us.          
Calendars are sent home each month to inform parents of the classroom curriculum and special activities each month.

Enrichment Program
At the beginning of each year, we send out a "Wish  List" for items to enhance our school day.  Those making donations are placed on our Honor Roll and are recognized at Christmas and Graduation.

Fire Drills
Fire drills are required by law and are an important safety precaution.  They will be held on a regular basis.

Special Programs
During the year, we will have several programs where the children will perform for an audience.  We will also provide parent/teacher meetings and family functions throughout the year.  Additional Special Programs may include speakers, outside instructors with special talents and our own staff members sharing their gifts and talents.

Special Events
During the year, some of the holiday celebrations and special events may require additional help.  Please make other arrangements for younger siblings.  We look forward to including everyone throughout the course of the year.  

Personal Belongings
Please encourage your child to keep treasured belongings at home.  We would like for them to work with the provided materials when at school because their use is related to our planned learning activities.  Show and Share privileges will be decided by each teacher individually.  

Summer Camp
We are open 7:30am - 5:30pm throughout the summer in Camp mode.  Ages are blended and camps are run in the Learning Center.  We will choose one theme per week to enjoy.  Camp hours are only from 9am - 1pm, 3 or 5 days per week.  Or, extend your fun by staying all day.  Camp is posrted and registration begins each April for current students and siblings (ages 3 - 10).  Watch for a flyer to come out every April and reserve your fun!